By Jake Sanders
Gary Rowett was thrilled by the performance of his Millwall players in their victory over former side Stoke City – and thanked the Lions fans for the warm reception he received at The Den.
A fine finish from Ben Thompson set Millwall on their way to their fourth Championship home victory of the campaign before Jed Wallace’s fourth penalty of the season confirmed that Rowett would start with three points against the side that sacked him in January.
“It is certainly a very good start,” Rowett said. “I think when you have had a day and a half with the players it is difficult because you do not want to overload them with too much information but you want them to obviously get the idea of what you want them to do.
“We did a lot of work on switching play against Stoke’s diamond and I felt first half it worked really really well. We got Mahlon [Romeo] out into space and Mahlon was a real threat stepping into that space and I think Stoke changed their formation quite a few times in the game to try and stop it.
“I thought Thommo [Ben Thompson], Jed [Wallace] and Fergie [Shane Ferguson] had some really good movement – Bradshaw – I am really really pleased.
“I think there first shot on target was 85 minutes which was just a header looping into his hands, but to fair to Bart [Bartosz Bialkowski], he has had to claim a few crosses and go and dominate his box, which he done really well.
“It means everything. We are really excited to be here. I think if there is an example of a club welcoming a manager and new staff into the wings, this club have been absolutely unbelievable, they couldn’t have done any more.
“Everyone is so friendly, everyone wants to work, everyone wants to help, it has been a brilliant first week. It’s like anything, what you hope is you end that week with a good result.
“I actually think the Stoke fans were really good as well, they didn’t give me too much stick, which I’d like to thank them for. But the Millwall fans were brilliant, we know our fans will get behind the team.
“The biggest thing for me today is when we needed them, when we were deep, when we were struggling to get out, they got behind the players and they were lifted by that little bit of energy and that in turn lifted the players energy. That is going to be important moving forward.”
PHOTOS BY BRIAN TONKS